Pirates Fans Give Life-Saving Umpire Standing Ovation During Pre-Game Ceremony

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Pirates finished up their three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday evening, but before the game started, the team took time to honor the umpire who saved a woman’s life.

John Tumpane is making national headlines for saving a woman from the edge of the Roberto Clemente Bridge before Wednesday’s game.

WATCH: Pre-Game Ceremony —

Tumpane, the home plate umpire, was given an emotional standing ovation during his introduction in Thursday’s pre-game ceremony on the field.

The crowd roared with applause when PNC Park’s announcer said, “On behalf of the Pittsburgh community, please join us in thanking John for his bravery.”

The Pirates tweeted: “Yesterday umpire John Tumpane saved a woman’s life on the Clemente Bridge. Tonight we give a tip our caps to John.”

Tumpane, 34, says he was just in the right place, at the right time.

He still can’t fully put into words why he approached the unidentified woman when she jumped over the bridge railing onto the ledge Wednesday afternoon with the Allegheny River below, but he said he knew something wasn’t right by the look on her face and the tone of her voice.

Tumpane and two others then managed to cling to the woman until first responders arrived and took over.

At a post-game press conference Wednesday, Tumpane said, “The most difficult part was, at times, she tried actually to go off the ledge there and her feet were dangling, so we had to pull her up.”

Fans and even the Pirates’ skipper were quick to recognize Tumpane’s split-second, heroic actions.

“I think it’s just an awesome thing that he was able to do, that he was in a spot to do it. It speaks volumes about the man. That’s a guy you can count on,” said Clint Hurdle, the Pirates manager.

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